It’s so hard to get a good read on just how good San Antonio really is during the regular season. Sure, they are 40-16 overall, second best record in the West and fourth best in the NBA, but they are 3-11 against the rest of the top five in the West and the top two in the East.
Also, the Spurs have just not been healthy and they are resting guys to make sure they are healthy when the playoffs start. For example, Tony Parker remains out right now.
But the Spurs are getting closer to healthy as the season winds down — they get Kawhi Leonard back on Wednesday night vs. the Pistons, San Antonio announced on Wednesday.
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This means the Spurs will have all their players back save Parker (Patty Mills still starts at the point in his place). The Spurs start Marco Belinelli at the two (with Manu Ginobili behind him off the bench), Leonard, Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter. That core took them to within a whisper (or a made free throw, or a defensive rebound) of the NBA title last year.
Whether they can do it again or if the best of the West have moved past them remains an open question, but with them finally healthy we are getting closer to answers.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.